Making The Most Of Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are a valuable way for you to engage and network on Twitter.

To make the most of twitter chats create a strategy

, or at the very least, a flexible plan based on ‘trial by twitter’. It’s just the same as any other effective networking strategy, it helps you find and engage with potential customers, grow your business and discover “just in time” information, and it can happen on twitter chats.

The twitter chats I participate in meet two simple criteria: either I am able to contribute and add value, as they are in my areas of expertise; or I want to learn something new. The best chats are a combination of both.twitterchats

In the beginning….

When I first started my chat focus, I picked just one chat and then selected a second one on a diverse subject. I committed time to just those two chats, about two hours a week, until I was completely comfortable with how they worked (chats can be really intimidating at first), and when I had confidence that I knew how to engage in the ebb and flow of the give and take, I expanded my repertoire and I’m now committed to a total of five chats, around five hours a week.

Here are eight pointers to smooth your way when starting out:

1. Check the framing post; this gives you a clue as to the direction of the conversation, and you can prepare to answer the questions ahead of time.

2. Find a chat mentor; I did, and it helped me get up to ‘chat speed’ really fast.  When you participate in a chat “tweet” you are new (first time visitor) to a chat, and you will often find a sympathetic host or another participant to help you on your way.

3. Understand hashtags:  how they are a dedicated meeting place during the chat hour, and may even run 24/7/365 as diverse conversations evolve and continue. Be respectful during a chat, don’t promote!

4. Pick your focus chats; five is a good number, and make an ongoing commitment where you add or find value. Commitment to a chat enhances the sense of community and is a great opportunity to network, while building your credibility.

5. Lurk, listen, and learn first; I did a lot of listening, and to gain my chat legs confidence, would write each tweet out before pasting it into the twitter stream! I didn’t want to tweet foolish!

6. Start contributing; but always think twice before you say it and always add value.

7. Think Strategic Headline; when tweeting in 140 characters, think PR headlines, advertising taglines, writing telegrams (from an era past). The “Art” of the headline is equally applicable for online chat conversations; even the more frivolous chat banter can be artful

8. Build relationships; commit to the same chat every week, make it more than a ‘one chat stand’ make it all count strategically.

Strategic Networking…

It’s the conversation and information exchange that makes the twitter chats work for me; the more you give, the more you get . Often connections I make during the chats continue into other online encounters, and quite a few have morphed into off-line business relationships and or friendships.

I’ve created several author chat strategies. And even though hangouts have taken front stage for books, don’t discount the targeted audience of a twitter chat, but remember to change the Q&A when talking about your book, so it is not an exact replication of regurgitated content but instead adds new and different perspectives from your book to each chat where you are a guest.

Get invited to chats, which showcase guest hosts with leading edge new technology to early adopter participants. Note: I personally find many new tools and apps to try from these chats.

There are over a 1000 twitter chats on just about every subject under the sun. If you search a chat hashtag you’ll get the time and day of the chat.

My favorite chats:

  • #bealeader where some of the best conversations and minds discuss the best actionable leadership and management topics
  • #Tchat Inspirational engagement related to the world of work
  • #CustServe because as many of you know customer experience is one of my obsessions.
  • #Mobilechat where I learn about leading edge developments in the mobile space
  • #Mediachat on account of their eclectic roster of guests
  • #Blogchat which is where new bloggers come to get the tips and tricks of blogging from seasoned bloggers.

My mother used to say, “life is meeting people” and there is no shortage of “meeting people” in the twitter chat world. There is so much we can learn from each other, and there are so many to learn from.

Who is the most amazing person you have met on a twitter chat? What is the most valuable thing you have learned?

CASUDI aka Caroline Di Diego
Caroline Di Diego aka CASUDI is a Social Media whisperer helping Brands, Communities and individuals find their social voice. She is the creator of the successful Entrepreneurs Questions blog; an effective self-help resource for Entrepreneurs. She is an award winning documentary film-maker, using New-Media to tell people's stories with impact. Esse Group, boutique consultancy has been helping companies move from concept/chaos to fundable and or profitable for over 25 years. INCLINEDESIGN focuses on Architectural Design solutions. She is a Co-Founder of the non-profit BankOnRain, solving the global water crisis with an available resource, THINK RAIN! . She is an avid guest blogger
CASUDI aka Caroline Di Diego
CASUDI aka Caroline Di Diego

Comments

comments

24 Comments

  • February 1, 2014

    gingerconsult

    CASUDI Great post, thanks for sharing with #bealeader.

  • February 1, 2014

    AlaskaChickBlog

    This is wonderful! LOL, I sure wish I had-had a post like this to guide me when I was cornered and had to take this big and scary leap… 140 characters is no joke! I remember vividly how nervous I was and how incredibly FAST they (chats) move! I have learned so much at these twitter chats since I began attending. And yes! I have met some outstanding humans though them. Thank you for this post, this one is one I will definitely share with others, especially new-comers.

  • February 1, 2014

    CASUDI

    GirlyGrizzly appreciate ongoing support very much gingerconsult #bealeader

  • February 1, 2014

    gingerconsult

    GirlyGrizzly Thanks for the comment Amber-Lee. I’m so glad you jumped into the twitter chats – you always make #bealeader so much better.

  • February 1, 2014

    GnosisArts

    Hi Caroline! Thanks for linking to our Twitter chat site! 

    Best,
    Eric Bryant
    Gnosis Media Group

  • February 1, 2014

    Jen Olney

    GnosisArts Thanks for the shoutout to #bealeader each week and for taking the time to compile this list. Cheers.

  • February 1, 2014

    Jen Olney

    AlaskaChickBlog They do move fast – most chats – some take time to get off the ground. I love the chats that are fast paced and I walk away with a blog idea or new contact. That makes the time worthwhile.

  • February 1, 2014

    gingerconsult

    GnosisArts Thanks for the comment, Eric. Happy to include the link to your great site about Tweetchats. Cheers. #bealeader

  • February 1, 2014

    AlaskaChickBlog

    Jen Olney I’m glad I met and got to know the #bealeader Community ~ I am glad I felt I HAD to go…it was a wonderful learning experience those first few, and even then, scared to death and unable to keep up- I met so many people and learned so much! Even now, even things I don’t always agree with- like with the subject of Ethics, I learn so much, in that case what I must be sure to educate my own Team and those who take the class, with. These are incredibly common misconceptions. But each one has been an experience I wouldn’t trade. Well worth what little time they demand.

  • February 2, 2014

    Bnixon1

    Thanks for sharing this post Casudi – I’m very new to Twitter Chats – so looking forward to getting stuck in, learning new things and meeting new people.

  • February 3, 2014

    mariaduron

    jgombita Thanks Judy!

  • February 3, 2014

    sndmatsumoto

    “AngelaMaiers: Making The Most Of Twitter Chats CASUDI #bealeader http://goo.gl/r4D0Ym via gingerconsult” #RETMY

  • February 3, 2014

    marksalke

    Lurkers always welcome, right? 🙂 CASUDI NickKellet gingerconsult ClaireSMBB

  • February 3, 2014

    CASUDI

    marksalke reason is Nick is an exert on Lurkers and knows their value NickKellet gingerconsult ClaireSMBB

  • February 3, 2014

    gingerconsult

    marksalke You always need lurkers in every community – everyone participates at their own speed ClaireSMBB NickKellet CASUDI

  • February 3, 2014

    NickKellet

    Self-service is deciding when to delurk! gingerconsult ClaireSMBB CASUDI marksalke You always need lurkers in every community

  • February 3, 2014

    ndebrantes

    CASUDI NickKellet: Making The Most Of Twitter Chats CASUDI #bealeader http://goo.gl/8Miv0a  via gingerconsult”

  • February 3, 2014

    CASUDI

    @gingerconsult apologies for not checking here for comments until now as I received no notification of any comments as I usually do ~ must be something with my email….. Oh well…. I’ll see if I can add my 2 cents even at this late date:-)

  • February 3, 2014

    CASUDI

    AlaskaChickBlog Thanks as always for your comments. Getting started in Social Media is scary and intimidating especially if you are of a certain age (ie no longer 20)  ~ i think its way harder to get started on Twitter now than 5 years ago. So, I was thinking about this when I wrote the post…. and thinking of a few people I am actually helping get started and what they find difficult to grasp…. Yes, send it to new-comers so they can get up to speed fast and avoid the usual early twitter mistakes!

  • February 3, 2014

    CASUDI

    Bnixon1 I look forward to engaging with you on the #BeAleader chats even though I think the time will be a little challenging for you in the UK:-)

  • February 4, 2014

    gingerconsult

    Soulati Thanks, Jayme. Cheers

  • February 5, 2014

    MJasonHouck

    CASUDI thanks beautiful friend for the RT.

  • February 9, 2014

    maryhsheriff

    CASUDI Thank you this is my first chat and your post was helpful.

  • February 9, 2014

    CASUDI

    maryhsheriff TYSM and please pass it around when you find someone new ~ remember I was new once 🙂 #Blogchat